Sports

Revolution captures league soccer title

U-13 Revolution soccer players Parker Buchanan (left) and Quinn Hassrick (behind Crossfire player) play aggressive defense against the Crossfire forward. - Photo courtesy of Terry Swanson
U-13 Revolution soccer players Parker Buchanan (left) and Quinn Hassrick (behind Crossfire player) play aggressive defense against the Crossfire forward.
— image credit: Photo courtesy of Terry Swanson

The South Whidbey Youth Soccer team Revolution wrapped up a sterling, almost-perfect season earlier this month.

The U-13 boys defeated the Crossfire team 6-1 to end the year with nine wins, three ties and zero losses.

Though the outcome of the title contest was never in doubt as far as the Revolution players were concerned, it wasn’t until minute 15 — with the score tied at 0-0 — that outside right defender Tom Swanson scored the first goal from 25 yards out.

“I saw the ball coming out to me; Bryce (Auburn) was going to take it, but I yelled to leave it alone and took the shot,” Swanson recalled. “Their goalie was short and the ball sailed over his fingers. Everyone was cheering; the parents got really loud.”

Crossfire tied the score with a well-placed penalty shot just outside the Revolution’s 18-yard line. The first half ended with the teams at a standstill tie, 1-1.

But within the opening 30 seconds of the second period, Revolution striker Kai Da Rosa scored the first of his two goals on a wall pass from outside midfielder Jeffrey Meier. Da Rosa’s second goal was a hard header from a low-driven corner kick from outside midfielder Andy Zisette.

“Within minutes, Zisette assisted on a second goal, providing a well-timed cross to Davin Kesler, who kneed the ball in a full sprint past the diving goalkeeper,” said Revolution coach Terry Swanson.

“The Revolution’s starting goalkeeper, Charley Stelling, played forward in the second half and scored the fifth goal by stealing the ball from a Crossfire defender and shooting it into the open left corner,” he said.

“The ball was passed to me, and another guy took it away but he wasn’t very fast, so I got it back and took the shot to the right of the goal,” Stelling said.

Quinn Hassrick added the final goal with a direct hit, following up a rebound off the goalpost from an initial shot taken by inside midfielder Oliver Saunsaucie.

Revolution defenders Anders Bergquist, Parker Buchanan and Jordan Henriot played strong defense, giving up the lone goal off a penalty shot.

Inside midfielders Kameron Donahoe, Donald Gambill and Auburn played aggressively in the middle and provided very quick transition passes to open forwards, Swanson said. Outside midfielders Lucas Leiberman and Cole Zink played unselfishly the entire game with long overlap runs and deep crosses to penetrate strikers and midfielders.

“Charley Stelling played a strong game as goalie,” Swanson said. “He positions himself well, distributes quickly to his teammates and has very ‘soft hands,’ which gives his team an opportunity to win most its games.”

Henriot said it was Swanson’s first goal that lit up the team.

“When Tom scored, it inspired the rest of us to get more goals and keep the other guys away from our goal,” Henriot said. “We put a lot of effort into winning, concentrating on pressuring the other team and closing in fast.”

Swanson said the team played outstanding defense all season, yielding only 10 goals in

12 regular season games.

“Every player on the field is a defender, and the entire team plays an aggressive style of defense, incorporating immediate pursuit and pressure, which creates many of our scoring opportunities on quick counter-attacks,” Swanson explained. “The team plays an unselfish style of soccer and has worked very hard to speed up its game with one- and two-touch passing.”

Henriot added that the key to victory is lots of practice and drills. “We have to be able to react fast every minute,” he said.

The Revolution begins its initial Commissioners Cup playoff round on Jan. 9 and hopes to advance to the finals for a second consecutive year.

For playoff schedules, check out the team’s Web site at www.swrevolution.org.

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